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Province appoints special mediators in forestry strike

The province is taking steps to end the nearly eight-month long coastal forestry workers strike.

Minister of Labour, Harry Bains, has appointed Amanda Rogers and Vince Ready as special mediators in the collective bargaining dispute between Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937.

“This dispute has taken a huge toll on workers and their families as well as the entire coastal forestry community. We want to see everyone get back on the job,” Bains said. 

“As Minister of Labour, I have decided to appoint special mediators Ready and Rogers with additional powers under the Labour Relations Code to help the parties reach an agreement as soon as possible.”

The parties will be brought together by the special mediators to reach an agreement through collective bargaining. 

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If they don’t reach an agreement, the mediators will provide them and the minister with recommended terms for settlement which they will have five days to accept or reject. 

Bains also can make the terms of the settlement public.

“I am confident that with the assistance of two of the nation’s top mediators, and the additional powers provided to them under the Labour Relations Code by this appointment, both sides can achieve a deal that ensures the sustainability of coastal forestry jobs and supports the terms and conditions of employment important to workers,” Bains said.

The strike involves 3,000 workers at Western’s sawmill and timberland operations.

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